Round 6 v Murray Bushrangers Match Report

Round 6 v Murray Bushrangers Match Report

By Tim Michell

CALDER coach Andrew Johnston has urged Vic Metro selectors to reward contested ball magnet Brad Bernacki with a place in the Big V squad for this year’s Under-18 National Championships.

Bernacki and key forward Karl Brown were again among the Cannons’ best on Saturday as Calder upset Murray Bushrangers by nine goals at Rams Arena.

Ten of Bernacki’s 15 disposals were contested on Saturday as he continued his impressive start to the TAC Cup campaign.

Johnston said the Sunbury junior had done enough to earn an opportunity with the Big V.

“He’s a real in and under hard nut who uses the ball well,” Johnston said.

Brown was unstoppable for the second-week running on Saturday, finishing with six majors in the Cannons’ 16.10 (106) to 7.10 (52) victory.

The Essendon Doutta Stars junior leads the TAC Cup goalkicking after six rounds with 24 majors.

Johnston said Brown was likely to be given VFL opportunities with Coburg in coming weeks as he continues his development.

“I don’t know what (Vic Metro’s) other players are like, but the way he’s gone, kicking 15 goals in two weeks, would certainly see him in the mix,” he said.

Brown’s improved fitness has become a hallmark of his game in 2016, while he has showcased his ability as one of the competition’s best contested marks.

“Last year he was really dominant in terms of playing that one-on-one and using his body,” Johnston said.

“This year early he was trying to do too much up the ground. But the last two weeks we’ve been able to deliver it to him, he can use his body and take those contested marks.

“It’s been a real strength of his.”

He said defender  Zach Guthrie, who was named in the Cannons’ best for the fourth-straight match, was “getting better and better each game”.

Jack O’Sullivan’s defensive role on dangerous Bushranger Nick Richards also drew praise from the Cannons’ coach.

Calder led by 20 points at quarter-time but took a strangehold on the contest in the second quarter by holding the Bushrangers to one goal despite the visitors kicking with a strong wind.

By three-quarter-time, the margin had blown out to 52 points and the Cannons were well on their way to consecutive victories.

The result lifted the Cannons to ninth on the table, behind eighth-placed Queensland on percentage.


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